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Saturday, 8 April, 2000, 15:13 GMT 16:13 UK
Wasps win 11-try stormer
Logan
Kenny Logan opens Wasps' account
Bristol 31-44 Wasps

Wasps booked themselves a place in the Tetley's Bitter Cup final, but only after a remarkable fightback from Bristol at the Madjeski Stadium.

The London club overran Bristol for 50 minutes of the game, notching up a 44-0 lead in the process.

But the last half-an-hour undoubtedly went to the West-country club, who ran in five quick tries to cap a wonderful display of rugby at the Reading ground.

In a blistering start, Wasps broke the deadlock with their first move of the match.

Wasps
Wasps notched up a 44-0 lead
Alex King kicked his side deep into opposition territory after Augustin Pichot was penalised for pushing.

Simon Shaw claimed a superb ball from the lineout and after a midfield miss-move, Kenny Logan forced his way over in the left-hand corner.

It was a dramatic opening on a glorious day. King came close with the touchline conversion, but the ball drifted just left of the posts.

Wasps clearly had the bit between their teeth and again pushed forward from the re-start. Bristol were caught offside, and King made no mistake from in front of the posts.

Bristol had to wait 17 minutes for their first sustained attack. But it came to nothing, with Barry Williams failing to find his man in the line-out.

Rob Henderson kicked deep downfield. Bristol were again caught offside and King slotted his second penalty to push Wasps 11-0 in front.

Bristol needed a quick score, but with Wasps tackling so effectively around the fringes, they struggled to put together any meaningful phases of play.

In contrast, Wasps then increased their stranglehold on the game.

With Bristol on the back foot, the Wasps pack drove forward, allowing Paul Volley to touch down for try number two.

Seconds later, the Londoners punished Bristol again, thanks to a wonderful swerving break from Logan.

The Scottish international was eventually brought down by Pichot, just metres from the line, but Will Green was on hand to compound Bristol's problems.

Bristol fight back

Wasps continued where they left off after the break, driving deep into their opponent's half.

With Lawrence Dallalgio leading from the front, Bristol managed to halt the first drive, but they could not stop Trevor Leota, who drove low over the line for Wasps' fourth.

With 35 minutes to go, Bristol were already playing catch-up rugby and even more-so when Henderson ran up Wasps' fifth minutes later.

The game was turning into a rout. But Wasps were clearly not willing to sit on their lead.

Bristol
Bristol achieved 31 unanswered points in the second-half
Bristol's heads had dropped and Dallaglio's men continued to capitalise, with Shane Roiser running over to take his side past the 40-point mark.

At 44-0 down, Bristol could have been forgiven for calling it a day, but they pushed forward in an attempt to avoid the whitewash.

After numerous phases of play, Bristol were camped on the Wasps line, unable to break down their defence.

It was adjudged illegal, however, and Bristol were rewarded with a penalty-try, which Honiball converted.

It prompted a remarkable fightback as Bristol ran in three tries in a superb 10-minute spell.

Williams drove over after a fine take from Garath Archer in the line-out, Adam Vander ran over on the right completing a move he had started earlier upfield.

And Bristol then claimed try number four when Nick Burrows came into the line at pace to break through underneath the posts.

From nowhere, Bristol had pulled the match back to 44-24.

With time running out they had lost the match, but Andy Sheridan capped a fine second-half performance to claim Bristol's fifth on the stroke of time.

Teams:

Bristol: Best, Rees, Burrows, Mayer, S. Brown, Honiball, Pichot, Johnstone, Williams, Lemoine, Archer, A. Brown, Fenn, Vander, Ryan.
Replacements: Gerrard, J. Evans, Sheridan, Salter, Simone, Bowen, Baber.

Wasps: Lewsey, Roiser, Waters, Henderson, Logan, King, Wood, Molloy, Leota, Green, Reed, Shaw, Worsley, Volley, Dallaglio.
Replacements: Friday, Ufton, Denney, Weedon, Scrivener, Macer, Le Chevalier.

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See also:

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Links to other Rugby Union stories are at the foot of the page.